“Hokusai Manga”: Erotic surrenders to a giant squid

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Shindô Kaneto’s 1981 biopic “Hokusai manga” (1981) with Ken Ogata [Mishima, Man Walking on Snow] playing Hokusai was released in English as “Edo Porn,” stressing the woman mounted by octopus (The Dream of a Fisherman’s Wife) from late in the career of the woodblock master Hokusai Katsushika (ca. 1760-1849). I thought that the old-man makeup for Hokusai and for his longtime buddy/enabler Sashichi /Kyokutei Bakin [Nishida Toshiyyko] was silly (Oei [Tanaka Yûko] was aged more gracefully if not particularly believable, either). As I suspected while watching it, the movie was an adaptation of a stageplay (written by Yashiro Siichi), though that doesn’t explain why the last act is so protracted.

BTW, though there are frequent shots of women’s breasts, there is no full-frontal nudity. And though focused on the late erotic works in the 13=volume Hokusai Manga, work on the famous 36 Views of Mount Fujiyama is also included. And a lot of drunkenness.

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The artist’s daughter Ôei Tanaka Yûko {Eijanaika]) stood by the artist as he obsessed about Ônau (Higuchi Kanako [Rônin-gai]), whom he coaxed to model for his erotic drawings. The look is close to that of Shindo’s ghost movie, “Onibaba.”

©2016, Stephen O. Murray

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